light-and-wonder: Gooooooood morning, ladies! We're approaching our next destination, trajectory nominal, power at 119% of minimum viable and rising steadily. Is everyone excited to find out what's behind door number two???
light-and-wonder: We've got 3 planets; 2 rocky, 1 in the goldilocks zone, and 1 gas giant. The smart money's on the goldilocks planet, but you never know what we'll find!
space-ourselves: Not to burst your bubble, dearest captain, but isn't the smart money on nothing? This is only the second system we're checking.
void-your-warranty: Only one way to find out! Booting up the sensors and checking preliminary data. brbish!
space-ourselves: Have fun, babe! 💙
life-should-flourish: And don't take too long! Morning all, love you.💙
hopelessly-entangled: 💙 'morning everyone
hopelessly-entangled: you never know, Muroti. we might find life here!
space-ourselves: You know what'd be whack?
space-ourselves: If we were wrong about physics and FTL travel was possible and they've discovered it back home.
light-and-wonder: ...And what, other Azurifice have already been here? It'd be a bit sad for our mission, but having FTL would be awesome! We could go so many places...
life-should-flourish: I think if that had happened, they would have picked us up en route, right?
space-ourselves: Not necessarily! It could be a form of FTL that needs a massive gravity well on one or both ends.
space-ourselves: That comes up all the time in sci-fi.
hopelessly-entangled: ...she's right, it does.
light-and-wonder: Let's hope for sci-fi FTL, then!
life-should-flourish: You all are ridiculous 💙 I'd say fingers crossed for-
void-your-warranty: LIFE!! INTELLIGENT LIFE!! ON THE SECOND PLANET!!!
life-should-flourish: ...for that, yeah!
hopelessly-entangled: ...You'd probably have to follow international laws about it but when we say "give you a place to live" we mean "megacities floating in the ocean" or something like that. We, uh, are not super enthused about clean castes make governing decisions for reds as a long-term solution, you clearly do it for yourselves better than they can?
hopelessly-entangled: We'd hopefully be able to negotiate population increases if we made new habitable areas and homes...
hopelessly-entangled: ...do you have any ideas?
hopelessly-entangled: For how we could help?
shasali_solintel: That depends a lot on what your options are.
shasali_solintel: You don't have uploading ready to go or planets ready to go, so I assume you have some leverage with the cleans but I have to guess it's not infinite. If you make a new habitable area I think there will be enormous public outcry about polluting it by moving any of us there.
hopelessly-entangled: I think the biggest tech we have ready to go soonish that we haven't, like, been loud about is, uh.
hopelessly-entangled: Extremely efficient power generation.
hopelessly-entangled: Like, efficient enough that you can use energy-intensive farming.
hopelessly-entangled: Full rollout is likely to substantially increase the carrying capacity of the planet. Maybe not quite double right away but we think do think it'd be more than 20% in a generation if we do an average-or-better job.
hopelessly-entangled: ...Noted. We'll keep brainstorming solutions.
hopelessly-entangled: Is there anything you think we should obviously be doing or going out of our way to avoid doing right now?
shasali_solintel: You should err hard on the side of not drawing attention to us. Attention on us is very rarely good compared to being ignored. Check with me and whoever else among reds you're talking to before you take any action that refers to us at all.
shasali_solintel: Also, how did you get into this website?
hopelessly-entangled: If you have recommendations for other people in your position I should reach out to, more contacts would be useful.
hopelessly-entangled: ...We put some micro-targeted spyware into our music decoder when we realized red communities were all password-protected.
hopelessly-entangled: Avaker is pretty sure nobody down there should be able to detect it.
hopelessly-entangled: ...sorry about the privacy invasion.
hopelessly-entangled: We didn't know how else to reach you without drawing clean attention.
shasali_solintel: None of our security will stand up to cleans who really want to know what we're up to en masse. The passwords are good enough to keep out individuals who feel like barging in. But our email addresses and other basic communications that we use as individuals will work just as well as this as far as it goes.
shasali_solintel: I know a lot of the community organizers in Anitam, but far fewer abroad.
hopelessly-entangled: That makes sense. I wouldn't have known who to email without coming here.
hopelessly-entangled: I'll stick to encrypted email, in the future. Sending you my public key now.
hopelessly-entangled: If you're comfortable reaching out to the community organizers you know, we'd appreciate being put in touch.
hopelessly-entangled: We don't know enough to fix your problems, yet, but
hopelessly-entangled: At the very least, we can hopefully avoid making things worse.
hopelessly-entangled: Oh, right.
hopelessly-entangled: I'll send you a simple encryption program for emailing us privately.
hopelessly-entangled: And that'd be helpful, thanks.
hopelessly-entangled: Good luck with everything. We'll be in touch.
Meanwhile, Penjaga is looking online for green activists / college students angry about the mistreatment of reds. Do they exist? What kinds of things do they say?
The categories are basically:
- radicals concerned about the treatment of reds, animals, computer programs that aren't even Azurifice, and plants
- people who, whatever their underlying reasoning, mostly advance arguments based on the desirability of preventing moral injury to people who perpetrate harms against reds, given that they look so much like everybody else
- pragmatic types who think the quality of red services is just one of those things you need to do annoying maintenance on, like making sure the reds aren't malnourished or anything
- young people who think very highly of themselves for having given a moment's thought to keeping reds happy, but seem to expect reds to be psychologically bizarre martyrs of some kind
Penjaga sighs, sends Makoki a summary, and joins Zanmi in researching blues.
life-should-flourish: I think at this point our best bet is some unusually pragmatic and professional blue.
light-and-wonder: And what, appeal to our weird alien values?
life-should-flourish: Well, that and giving them shiny new technology.
light-and-wonder: We do have lots of shiny new technology.
Together, they look through news articles, voting records, speeches, and political analyst comments, searching for blues in high places who seem unusually pragmatic and unflappable.
- Some politicians seem popular in Calado for that sort of reason, but on inspection this is only because they're in awful company.
- Tapa has a very distributed structure and a normal amount of variance; the high end looks good.
- In spite of the recent kerfuffle with the food exports, Governor Avalor is well-respected.
- President Icalena of Cene is pretty reasonable.
light-and-wonder: Okay, I found a few blues who seem pragmatic enough to approach about this.
life-should-flourish: Let's try Avalor first? We're setting up on her land, so we have non-suspicious reasons to talk to her.
space-ourselves: What are we going to say? "Any chance we could bribe you to stop abusing your plumbers?"
light-and-wonder: Gosh, Muroti, I was drafting up a high-level pitch, but actually now I think you should do it.
light-and-wonder: Here, let me put you in touch with her now.
hopelessly-entangled: haha oh no that'd go so poorly...
void-your-warranty: I can attest that Zanmi has been working on a pitch!
void-your-warranty: I know this because she asked me for details on how well our nuclear reactors work.
void-your-warranty: And while I love our dear leader very, very much,
space-ourselves: Babe, how could you slander Zanmi like this? I'm sure she knows nuclear reactors are the hottest shit!
space-ourselves: Absolutely smashing!
space-ourselves: Magnetic! Attractive!
space-ourselves: *eats the tomatoes*
light-and-wonder: ...look, I just don't find logistics that compelling!
hopelessly-entangled: And there's nothing wrong with that! 💙
life-should-flourish: Yeah, we have Avaker and Muroti to geek out about it for us.
light-and-wonder: Anyways, yes, I asked for details about nuclear reactors so I could make a better pitch to Avalor.
light-and-wonder: I'm going to try and get a private meeting with her now.
(translator's note: the Rasikan fruit historically thrown to express frustration with wordplay doesn't look anything like a tomato, actually, but the usage translates cleanly.)
Zanmi messages Governor Avalor's office, expressing gratitude for the land, an earnest hope that they'll do lots of profitable business together, and requesting a private meeting chat with her about some potentially sensitive matters whenever would be convenient for her.
Is it sensitive enough that the fact of the meeting, its duration, whether anyone else was present, etc., should also be classified?
If that is not too difficult to arrange, that'd definitely be preferable!
Her secretary will know some of those facts but he's very good at obfuscation to other parties. As far as the rest of the world is concerned she can be taking a day off.
What would they like to discuss?
"Firstly, thank you so much for agreeing to meet with us with this level of discretion. It may ultimately prove unnecessary, but I hope you'll forgive our caution.
To be frank, we're rather distressed with how Amentans, collectively, treat reds; it's certainly worse in some places than others and they're grateful that Voa doesn't, say, perform experiments on them, but their rights are woefully inadequate everywhere. We, uh, recognize that pollution and biological contamination is something your people take extremely seriously, and because of that the idea of interacting with or even thinking about reds is extremely stressful and that creates and reinforces incentives that end up in predictable places!
As I'm sure your analysts have probably predicted by now, we do have more technology than the stuff we've already given out, including some extremely efficient power plants, energy-intensive high-yield farming techniques from our vault era, and better composite materials for building high density housing, and, of course, Azurifice-backed automation. If we went with aggressive timelines, we think we could bootstrap our technology to the point where we could automate red jobs within a local year, at least in Voa, and probably everywhere within 2, and significantly increase your viable population density. We estimate that we could get somewhere around a 30% increase within a generation, and higher afterwards. We very badly want to share these technologies here and would consider it a grave ethical failure on our part if we cannot find some way of doing so! But what's going on with reds is what we'd consider an ongoing humanitarian crisis, and it would be an even more grave ethical failure, by our reckoning, to just naively hand it over, when the obvious outcome of doing so would be that reds are systematically denied child credits, or worse.
Our preferred solution would be some way of setting up an Azurifice-funded and backed independent polity that reds are safely relocated to as we phase in automation for their jobs. We could use their help with several kinds of manual labor that we'd have to give training for anyways, and because we're mechanical, their pollution won't be an issue for us. However, we understand that to achieve this would take a lot of goodwill and cooperation from you and the other leaders of major nations; what can we do to help convince you that this will be worth your time and effort?"